Diana Preston is a writer with a special interest in the history of exploration. Her many books include A Pirate of Exquisite Mind, about the 17th century buccaneer William Dampier, who inspired Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and A First-Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole – a New York Times Book of the Week. Among her presentations on this North Pacific crossing, she will investigate the many ill-fated voyages in search of a sea route across the Arctic Ocean to link Eurasia and the Americas and will recall Captain James Cook’s third voyage of exploration, which visited Alaska.
Diana is also the author of Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima, which won the 2006 Los Angeles Times Prize for Science; Taj Mahal: A Love Affair at the Heart of the Moghul Empire; Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love and Politics in the Ancient World; and the recently filmed Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy. Her latest book, The Dark Defile, about the First Anglo-Afghan War, was published in the USA in February 2012. Writing with her husband Michael, Diana is also “Alex Rutherford”, author of the best-selling Empire of the Moghul quintet of historical novels about India.
An experienced speaker, Diana has lectured at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, The Peabody Essex Museum, The Smithsonian Institution, New York’s Museum of Natural History, The Imperial War Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, and the National Maritime Museums in both London and Sydney. She has also appeared in many historical documentaries and programs including for CNN, BBC1, the Discovery Channel, and the History Channel.